Tag Archives: Christmas 2015

Wine gift ideas for the holidays: Grgich Hills & Twisted Roots

Violetta, Late Harvest from Grgich Hills Estate

Violetta, Late Harvest from Grgich Hills Estate

If you still have holiday shopping left to do and you have wine lovers on your list, here are a few gift ideas. There are also a couple ideas for host/hostess gifts if you’ll be visiting others during the season.

Grgich Hills Estate in Napa Valley offers a range of holiday items, from single bottles to decadent collections. For a red wine lover, there is a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon ($143). Grgich Hills shares that it has “notes of smoke, blackberry and chocolate…Robert Parker re-reviewed this wine this summer and awarded it 92+ points.” This bottle comes packaged in a gift box. For a white wine fan, Grgich Hill recommends a magnum of the 2012 Paris Tasting “Commemorative” Chardonnay ($250). Vintners Hall of Fame inductee Miljenko “Mike” Grgich crafted the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the famed 1976 Paris Tasting, outscoring the best of France and revolutionizing the wine world. To honor Mike’s legacy, Grgich Hills Estate showcased their best Chardonnay vines to create an elegant, full bodied Chardonnay with notes of fresh apple tart, honeysuckle and tropical fruit. For someone who has been “extra-good” this year, the ultimate luxury gift would be the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical Case ($1,560). It includes 2 bottles each of Grgich’s 2003-2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Grgich Hills Estate’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of three distinct vineyards in Yountville Rutherford, and Calistoga. All of Grgich Hills Estate’s vineyards are farmed naturally, without artificial pesticides or herbicides, and are certified organic. Their tasting room is in Rutherford.

For host/hostess gifts, Grgich recommends Violetta, Late Harvest ($85), or a 2012 Chardonnay ($42). Named for Mike Grgich’s daughter, Violet, the Violetta is crafted from a field blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. It includes rich aromas of ripe pear, mandarin orange and honeysuckle. It’s suggested that Violetta be paired with desserts that echo these flavors, such as fruit tarts, crème brûlée and rich cheeses, or served all by itself to end a special meal. Note that the Violetta is a 375ml bottle. The 2012 Chardonnay has fresh citrus and juicy peach flavors, rounded out with rich, warm vanilla and a touch of minerality.

Twisted Roots is offering “holiday gift packs” at its tasting room (12 Del Fino Place, Carmel Valley, 831-594-8282). Twisted Roots has combined two of its most popular wines—including their 2011 Cabernet—to create a holiday gift pack. The package also includes two Twisted Roots stemless wine glasses.  It’s a $50 value that costs $40 and includes two cards for complimentary wine tasting. For host/hostess gifts, Twisted Roots suggests its package with limited edition sparkling wine and two stemless champagne glasses ($40, also includes two complimentary wine tasting cards). If you’re unfamiliar with Twisted Roots, they are a winery that gives back: For every bottle sold, they donate a portion of the proceeds to the ALS Foundation for research into ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  The creator of the Twisted Roots brand is afflicted with ALS.  Additionally, Twisted Roots donates money to MEarth and its Hilton Bialek Habitat at Carmel Middle School.

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Santa Claus visits breakfast buffet at Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz

Santa Claus and a breakfast guest at last year’s “Breakfast with Santa” at Chaminade

Santa Claus and a breakfast guest at last year’s “Breakfast with Santa” at Chaminade

During the next two weekends, Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz is a great place to visit with your family for “Breakfast with Santa.” These events are Saturday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 12 from 9 to 11 a.m.

At the Breakfast with Santa events, Chaminade will serve an extensive buffet with made to order waffles and omelets and more plus champagne or mimosas for adults. There will also be take-home teddy bears for the kids, unlimited pictures with Santa (with your own camera), and letter writing to Santa (Chaminade sends a personalized letter back to kids). The cost is $36.95 adults, $17.95 kids 6-12, and $11.95 kids under 5. Make reservations at the Chaminade web site.

Chaminade also has a holiday shopping event coming up. On Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m., they’re hosting a pop-up Makers Market at the on-site spa. There will be lots of locally handcrafted products and artwork to choose from, plus spa products. Attendees can purchase beverages such as wine to enjoy while they’re shopping.

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Location: One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz, 831-475-5600